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Prediction: Ras-I Dowling is the new starting S

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Sep 5, 2011.

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  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't really have a cogent organized argument to back this up, but I have a feeling this is going to happen.
    It is eerily similar to Eugene Wilson, in timing, in position change and in skillset of the players.
    We have no clue about what events led to Meriwhether being cut, after BB accepted his limitations for 4 years. IMO, coverage has been the biggest issue at the safety position, and I don't see cutting the best cover guy to replace him with a big hitter who appears to be more the strong safety type (Barrett) or a guy who has struggled in coverage as a rookie (Brown).
    Dowling seems to fit the bill, perhaps if he hadn't missed preseason games this would be easier to project. We know from Wilson that a one week conversion is possible.
    Thoughts?
  2. patriot lifer

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    I think the fact that we have ostensibly 6 cornerbacks on the roster supports the guess. If one converts to safety, then that seems to strike a better balance (albeit they might be trying to trade Butler). And the Pats didn't put any waiver claims for safeties out there like I thought they would, suggesting some other plan in store.

    However, I still think we may see Sharper after week 1, but that certainly doesn't rule out the possibility as you suggest.
  3. BlueThunder

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    If Bodden is healthy, I could see BB plugging Ras-I into the safety slot....:rocker:
  4. Horace's Ivories

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    As a UVA alumnus myself - my unbiased opinion is that Dowling has the smarts to do it. ;)
  5. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    I'd rather have a centerfielder with ball skills back there than a thumper. The game has changed. And, so has the responsibilities of the safeties. Have to be a tremendous athlete to cover 1/2 the field now on top of a sure tackler. Can't hurt to give him a shot. If we can get the lead in these games, gives BB room to tinker.
  6. Bobs My Uncle

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    I could see Dowling, or even Bodden, getting reps at safety.
  7. CapeCodGuy99

    CapeCodGuy99 Rookie

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    A lot of people have been suggesting this from the start of pre season. the most notable trait regarding Dowling is his physicality and his ability to keep up with just about every size wide receiver. Dowling has the ability to play just about every position in the secondary. I can picture McCourty and Bodden being the team's starting cornerbacks with Kyle Arrington rotating in, and then Patrick Chung can line up as the team's starting strong safety with Dowling as the team's free safety, which would make one of the most intriguing defensive backfields in the entire NFL.
  8. Big-T

    Big-T On the Roster

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    Well, using the 100% foolproof logic of Madden 09 (when he was a Lion) Leigh Bodden is 99 ovr when moved from CB to safety :p

    In all seriousness though, I'd like to see Bodden or Arrington at safety if the team HAS to play a corner there.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm curious about that Sharper comment. If we want him why would we wait until after week 1?
    I think you are going for the contract guarantee thing (if thats even part of the new CBA) but what do you gain by waiting?
    If you want the guy why delay it a week, that doesnt help your football team.
    If you sign him after week 1 you guaranteed the salary of the guy you cut to sign him, so there is no gain.
  10. PatsFan37

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    What about Arrington as safety? If the concern is avoiding mistakes, sure tackling, knowing the defense, and having range, Arrington seems to fit the bill, and that relieves him of needing to match speed with receivers off the LOS. Dowling would come in on the nickel defense, which limits his snaps and responsibilities with so little time in camp.
  11. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer Rookie

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    I agree that I'd rather have him sooner rather than later (if he's needed). I suppose it's a moneyball thing (and salary cap for that matter) (so cost-benefit). BB has to play GM as well as head coach afterall being the head decision-maker for the team. I'm also factoring in the rumors/reports that the Pats weren't happy with the safety position that we heard about earlier in TC and that they may want more proven replacements to the old regime than Barret and Brown (is Artrelle Hawkins still out there, lol). (But perhaps they're content now)

    Plus, let's say they aren't 100% sure as to how the safety position will work out. It could be worth seeing it play out for a week or two to gain a better understanding of how the secondary will function. BB could be leaning towards going ahead without any more help, but come gameday the young guys could flounder and they see the need to call in an old vet.

    We'll see.
  12. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I've had Dowling as my desired starting replacement for Meriweather since January -- but I was thinking 2012! Throw in the lockout and him missing most of camp, and IMO it's a lot to ask early on.
  13. s3antana5757

    s3antana5757 Rookie

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    Worked out pretty well the last time we took a S in the first two picks of the 2nd round.
  14. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I dont think the cap is an issue, we are well under.
    Surely cutting Ihedigbo or Tarpinian or Kyle Love, or Atwaun Moulds or other players who will be inactive wouldn't be such a loss as to overcome getting a guy who will play an important role in now.
    If they want him, I don't see the logic in delaying it, however if they wanted him, they probably would have signed him then, because I don't think BB surprised himself by cutting Meriwhether.
  15. bagwell368

    bagwell368 Rookie

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    I agree Dowling will get reps at S. He might start some games. I'm doubtful he would be a soup to nuts starter - but it wouldn't be a shock either.

    The biggest argument against that move is who plays nickel? And who plays dime? If Dowling plays primarily CB all year, the depth there is very good, if not, our dime is junk, and if we have even one injury to the top 3 guys, then our nickel is going to be gag me player as well.

    I think that Meri peaked in 2009 as a cover player. He never could tackle well. He was a distraction on and off the field. Immature and not with the program. I think BB decided to cut bait - in fact its obvious he did. Meri will have a good season in Chicago. He may have one or two more good ones after that. Despite the howls of protest from some if he should, it doesn't prove he would have played well here.
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2011
  16. bagwell368

    bagwell368 Rookie

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    Right, the cap isn't an issue. If BB plans on getting a vet S in here, the key factor is time. The sooner he gets here, the better he will learn the system and play well. Saving a few bucks to sign someone after week 1 might be good for a 3rd TE or a 4th S, not so much for a starter.
  17. Triumph

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    I think Sharper still has a shot to be a NE Safety.
  18. Bravo777

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    I can believe it! I sure hope we get this figured out soon!
  19. Triumph

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    Yep, hes very green.

    Its a trial by fire in Miami if BB goes that route for Dowling.
  20. cavtroop

    cavtroop Rookie

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    I foresee us playing a ton of cover-1, with one safety on the field, and 4 CB
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